José Mourinho has urged Romelu Lukaku to "tell the country why you left Chelsea" after it emerged the Belgium international had made a verbal transfer request just before the September deadline to force a move away from Stamford Bridge.
His transfer request was dismissed with Mourinho keen for the player to stay and fight for a place in the side. After further discussions with Lukaku, the club and manager relented and agreed to allow him to go on another season-long loan.
This doesn't sound promising, now does it?
The only problem here is that this "transfer request" appears to me to be some old news wrapped up in some shiny new packaging. We've known for several months that Lukaku asked for a loan immediately after the Samuel Eto'o signing, because he told us himself on more than one occasion (including earlier today). We've never heard a peep about a permanent move away though, which seems to be exactly what The Guardian are implying he was requesting.
So where exactly could this new information be coming from? Well they seem to identify their source in the caption of their picture.
Romelu Lukaku, Everton's on-loan striker, had put in a transfer request at Chelsea, according to José Mourinho
That's certainly interesting, because nobody else reported this today despite basically every publication in England having someone on hand for his presser. I suppose it's entirely possible that someone coughed very loudly at the exact moment Mourinho mentioned this, thus causing the rest of the room to miss that juicy quote. It's certainly not something I'd bet on though, especially given that they don't give us his words explaining the situation.
Chelsea sells papers, and transfer rumors drive page views. My guess (and it'snot much of a guess) is that we'll hear Lukaku asked shortly after Everton's game this weekend about the events leading up to his loan. After all, with the reaction this is already getting throughout the fanbase, any decent journalist would be insane not to probe a bit further.
I'd also guess (this is actually just a guess) that we'll be hearing the player never requested a permanent move away from the club, but that he simply wanted a season on loan if he was going to have a difficult fight for minutes. After all, The Guardian article doesn't actually state that he wanted to be sold in a straightforward manner, they just hint at it in a way that could be considered accurate since he requested a loan (which is technically a transfer). Luckily, we won't have to speculate for long, as someone is sure to ask the player about this in short order.